The first week of March will see five professional New Jersey theatres bring five brand new plays to The Bickford Theatre in Morristown, New Jersey as the second annual New Plays New Jersey kicks off.
Writers Theatre of New Jersey is coordinating the staged readings with The Bickford Theatre, Dreamcatcher Rep, Luna Stage, and Passage Theatre as part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival.
The readings are produced by the individual theatres and feature the plays of some of New Jersey’s best playwrights, directed by professional directors and performed by professional New Jersey and New York actors.
Every reading is followed by a community discussion with the writer, director, and Writers Theatre Artistic Director, John Pietrowski, giving the audience an opportunity to share their insights and opinions and helping to further shape the work.
The plays to be presented are Last Flight of the Mercenary by Karen JP Howes (a former resident of Madison), The Forever Question by James Christy, Jr. (Princeton), The King of the Mountains by Ben Clawson, Green Whales by Lia Romeo (Hoboken), and Home Court by Maryanne Melloan Woods, a Morristown resident.
“The New Jersey Theatre Alliance Stages Festival is the perfect opportunity to showcase the work on new plays being done by theatres in New Jersey with New Jersey writers,” said John Pietrowski, Writers Theatre Artistic Director. “We are featuring the work of five theatres at a single site; audiences will not only see great new ‘home-grown’ plays, but will be able to learn about the presenting theatres as well. Many of these plays will wind up in full productions very soon and you can say you saw it here first.”
New Plays New Jersey is one of a few efforts to bring focus on new play development in the state. Writers Theatre, Passage Theatre, and Luna are also working with NJPAC on commissioning three New Jersey Playwrights in its NJ Stage Exchange Program. And the NJ Theatre Alliance is planning a conference for NJ Dramatist Guild Members in the Spring. “New Jersey has one of the largest groups of Dramatist Guild Members in the country,” added Pietrowski, “and many new plays being done in New York and nationwide are by New Jersey writers. Our community is a talented one, and we want to celebrate that.”
The reading schedule is as follows:
The Bickford Theatre will present “Last Flight of the Mercenary” by Karen JP Howes on Tuesday, March 1 at 7 PM.
Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre will present “Green Whales” by Lia Romero on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 PM.
Luna Stage Company will present “King of the Mountains” (formerly titled “John and Teddy in the Mountains”) by Ben Clawson on Thursday, March 3 at 7 PM.
Passage Theatre Company will present “The Forever Question” by James Christy, Jr. on Friday, March 4 at 7 PM.
Writers Theatre of New Jersey will present “Home Court” (formerly titled “Goal Tending”) by Maryanne Melloan Woods on Sunday, March 6 at 6 PM
Readings are free of charge, with a $10.00 recommended donation (or donate what you can). The performances will occur at The Bickford Theatre, located in the Morris Museum at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ.
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